In Wednesday's newsletter, we highlighted how betting against the public and backing unders has been a profitable NBA Christmas Day betting strategy due to the unique influx of public action. True to form, unpopular dogs went 4-1 ATS yesterday. The 76ers (plus 3, beat Bucks 121-109), Warriors (plus 11.5, beat Rockets 116-104), Clippers (plus 2.5, beat Lakers 111-106) and Pelicans (plus 9, beat Nuggets 112-100) all received roughly one-third of bets or less and all four covered and won straight up.
Christmas Day unders went 3-2, improving to 41-24 (63.1%) since 2005 according to Bet Labs Sports.
Thursday's betting slate features 6 NBA games and two college football Bowl Games. For an updated betting breakdown of Thursday's action, be sure to tune in to the VSiN Market Insights Podcast with Josh Appelbaum. It will be posted at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Now let's discuss where sharp action is flowing for both of today's Bowl Games.
4 p.m. ET: Miami-Florida (6-6) vs Louisiana Tech (9-3)
The Walk-On's Independence Bowl is the first of two day-after-Christmas games. Miami has an up-and-down season in the ACC, losing their first two games and their last two games but going 6-2 in-between. Miami finished the regular season with a disappointing 27-17 loss to Duke as 9.5-point favorites. The Hurricanes (6-6 ATS) averaged 27.8 PPG on offense and gave up 20.8 PPG on defense. Louisiana Tech (7-5 ATS) finished second in the Conference-USA West division, averaging 34 PPG on offense and giving up 23.7 PPG on defense. The Bulldogs beat UTSA 41-27 in the season finale but failed to cover as 21-point favorites.
This line opened with Miami listed as a 7.5-point favorite. Pros and Joes are both siding with Louisiana Tech, which has dropped the line down to 6.5. It has even reached 6 throughout the week. Sharps in particular loaded up on Louisiana Tech at 7.5 and 7. The game will be played at Independence Stadium in Shreveport Louisiana, providing the La Tech Bulldogs a local home field advantage. The total opened at 50. Two-thirds of bets are taking the over, yet the total has either stayed frozen at 50 or fallen slightly to 49.5. The forecast calls for mid 60s and 3 MPH winds. The over went 6-5-1 in Miami games and 6-6 in Louisiana Tech games.
8 p.m. ET: Pittsburgh (7-5) vs Eastern Michigan (6-6)
The Quick Lane Bowl features an ACC opponent against a MAC foe. Pittsburgh stood at an impressive 7-3 through ten games but then stumbled down the stretch, losing their final two games in the regular season (lost to Virginia Tech 28-0 and 3.5-point dogs and lost to Boston College 26-19 as 8-point favorites). The Panthers went 7-5 ATS, averaging 20.08 PPG on offense and allowing 21.83 PPG on defense. Eastern Michigan was steady throughout the season, never winning or losing more than two games in a row either way. The Eagles lost their regular season finale to Kent State 34-26 as 3.5-point favorites. The Eagles went 5-7 ATS, averaging 29.08 PPG on offense and allowing 30.33 PPG on defense.
This line opened with Pitt listed as a 10.5-point favorite. Public bettors don't know which way to go and bets are split down the middle 50/50. However, the line has risen to Pitt -12, signaling some sharp action on the Panthers. This game will be played at Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions, which provides somewhat of a home field advantage to Eastern Michigan. The total hasn't budged off of 49. Pitt is an excellent defensive team, ranking 11th in the nation in yards allowed (302.5). The under has gone 9-3 in Pitt games. Eastern Michigan is known for higher scoring games this season, going 7-3-2 to the over.